Kingston Council is calling for local design ideas to revitalise the riverside as part of plans to breathe new life into the town centre

Kingston Council is calling for local design ideas to revitalise the riverside as part of plans to breathe new life into the town centre

In collaboration with Kingston First and Kingston University, the council will be investing £200,000 in transforming the river frontage around John Lewis and Kingston Bridge.

Nazeya Hussain, Executive Director of Place at Kingston Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for anybody interested in urban design. You may be an established architectural practice or you might be a start-up design studio or a student with great ideas about how our riverside space can be more animated, fun and interesting. We are keen to hear from locally based practices and individuals, as well as underrepresented groups.

“We want to create a flexible and animated public space that encourages exploration and appreciation of the riverside and town, supports cultural and creative events, accommodates pop up activity such as markets, workshops, performance and displays, and is environmentally sustainable and accessible to all.”

In Autumn 2020 a partnership of Kingston Council, Kingston University, Kingston First and the charity Creative Youth were successful in obtaining £200,000 from The Mayor of London’s Getting Building Fund specifically for these public realm improvements.

Although the creative space and workspace will bring new life to this area, there is an opportunity for the public realm to be redesigned and repurposed to offer new potential space for creative community activity and enticing gateways into the two new premises.

Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First, said: “This design competition is an exciting example of the ‘Reimagining Kingston Town Centre’s Streets and Spaces’ strategy being brought to life to improve the town centre experience. This is an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to improving and better connecting this length of Kingston’s riverside, and we are keen to hear from up and coming landscape architecture and design teams, as well as established firms. We’re looking forward to receiving creative responses to the brief celebrating the heritage of the area and providing an improved public realm for people to explore and enjoy.”

Robin Hutchinson, Chair of Creative Youth, said: “This is a real opportunity to provide a visual progression to and from the green spaces of Canbury Gardens and the town centre riverside. It can become an attractive and engaging public space for enjoyment, activity and relaxation, making the most of its location next to the Thames. It can bring energy and animation next to the Bridge and draw together what will be the new Factory of Futures and the town centre.”

Final date for competition entries is 12noon 21 May 2021. Information about submissions, as well as more details about the project, can be found on the Kingston First website.

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